Understanding Dreams About Loss Of Control

Crazy things happen in dreams… in real life you are unlikely to find yourself in the back of a car that suddenly has no driver, or about to deliver your keynote presentation when you realise you have no notes with you, or other essentials. Thank goodness for that, life itself is less random, and the kind of logistical screw-ups we’re presented with are usually less dramatic – and largely of our own making.

That’s the key – when we dream of the missing tickets at the airport, our subconscious mind is presenting us with our own underlying anxieties, about something we feel insecure or out of control of. In many of the typical scenarios, it’s a big event: your first day in a new job, or an important family occasion, something that in real life you would plan and prepare for minutely. But this very degree of attention that complex planning requires, sends concern deep into your unconscious – so, in the middle of the night, it gets reflected back to you in your dreams: yes, I remembered the cake, the gift, the flowers, the drinks, but oh my goodness I somehow forgot to get dressed this morning, and now everyone is staring at me… and because they are staring, I can’t make myself walk, or speak, or do anything they expect me to, and the shame and stress and level of attention is growing by the second… I have completely lost control.

People who suffer frequently from this kind of dream often have a huge amount on their plate in the conscious, waking world – complicated personal and professional responsibilities, often coupled with a poor sense of being on top of things and managing their commitments successfully. This is tough one because, for many of us, life simply is very complicated, and keeping all the plates spinning demands constant vigilance. That external reality we probably cannot change (although a review of commitments never hurts to be sure), but what we can change is how we manage and respond to those commitments.

You can use this kind of ‘losing control’ dream as a warning that you are becoming stressed and overloaded, and take it as a sign you need to call a time-out, and look at why your unconscious mind is telling you a plate is in danger of crashing to the ground (and even allowing you to rehearse how you’d feel about it, if you were to let it happen). Your dreams are direct messengers from your own unconscious, and if you are suppressing growing anxiety about your overload in your conscious mind, you have to learn to listen to and take advice from the rest of your mind.